Desperate For Cash, Thai Airways Will Sell You Time In Their Flight Simulators

Thai Airways is currently in bankruptcy restructuring and suffering from the pandemic’s reduced demand and borders that are closed to tourism. The airline is looking for revenue anywhere it can find some. They’ve opened a restaurant so you can eat plane food on the ground. And they’re promoting deals for use of their flight simulators with an instructor, too.

Most airlines keep their simulators fully occupied with pilot training, and occasionally make time available on a promotional basis for a large amount of frequent flyer miles or big cash donations to charity. Thai’s prices start at just $383.

According to Thai’s executive vice president of operations, Squadron Leader Soradech Namruangsri, the revenue-generating opportunity comes because the airline hasn’t resumed normal operations.

Here are the 3 packages they offer:

  • Basic: 30 minutes of sim time including 10 minutes of flying on your own
  • Deluxe: 60 minutes of sim time, you can take off on your own and fly on your own for 15 minutes, plus two touch and go landings at your preferred airport
  • Ultimate: 90 minutes, including dealing with weather and 25-30 minutes of free flight plus unlimited touch and go landings and a final low visibility landing.

Redeeming frequent flyer miles may be an even better deal. For many years the Royal Orchid Plus program has advertised sim time for just 12,500 miles. Thai Airways is a Citi ThankYou Rewards transfer partner, too.

If this isn’t available when we’re finally able to visit Thailand again, at least there’s the new Microsoft Flight Simulator, although the Grand Hyatt Incheon has a Boeing 787 simulator and there’s a Tokyo Haneda airport hotel which offers a room that includes a Boeing 737-800 simulator too.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Back in the days of Northwest Airlines they regularly sold unused Sim time, and my loving wife gifted me an hour in the A320 sim In Minneapolis. I bolstered my Cessna 150 hours with an hour of Pilot in Command -A320, and yes it was as fun and as real as you think.

  2. @Greg, could you really log the time as PIC? If so, I’m definitely doing it at some point.

    I tried booking the Haneda Excel Tokyu hotel simulator on a layover at Haneda. No dice.

  3. I would like to learn runway excursions, overruns, unstable approaches, hard landings, and to pay 5 to 10 times more than list price to every supplier of the airline?

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